Roundup: Colorado Lawmakers Propose Bill to Protect Birth Control

Emily Douglas

Colorado lawmakers introduce measure to protect birth control; Arkansas Senate passes abortion ban; Gov. Crist to review ab-only funding; Office for Faith-Based Partnerships member slams North Dakota bill; anti-choicers still stoking fears on FOCA; Georgia considers regulations on IVF; Sen. Gillibrand, get it right on immigration!

Worried by Personhood Amendment, Colorado Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Protect Birth Control
the Colorado "egg-as-person" measure failed resoundingly in November’s
election, Colorado lawmakers are still concerned about attacks on birth
control, and are seeking to make its legality clear.  Sen. Betty Boyd
and Rep. Anne McGihon have introduced a measure to add a legal
definition of contraception to state law to ensure that egg-as-person
laws wouldn’t make it illegal, reports CBS4Denver
As Kay Steiger reported, Kristi Burton, sponsor of the egg-as-person
amendment, has said that she does not oppose birth control, although legal experts suggested the egg-as-person amendment would result in the criminalization of some hormonal birth control and IVF.

Arkansas Senate Passes Abortion Ban

The Arkansas Senate has passed a ban certain late-term abortion procedures, a "bill that mirrors a federal law banning late-term abortions," reports WXVT. "The measure now heads to Governor Beebe, who has said he will sign it into law."

Gov. Crist to Review Abstinence-Only Funding
Remind your governor that the taxpayers are the ones paying for the
abstinence-only boondoggle, and he’ll be happy to "look into it."  At
least that’s what Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he would do
after being asked at a town hall meeting about taxpayer money being
"wasted" on ab-only programs.  Writes the Tampa Bay Buzz:

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"The weight
of the evidence cannot be ignored, and it is time to answer
tough questions about why we continue to waste millions of dollars a
year on a policy that has failed to keep teens healthy and safe," said
Adrienne Kimmell, Healthy Teens Campaign member and executive director
of the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. "We
encourage Gov. Crist to take the next step and join the 25 governors
who no longer accept federal abstinence-only funding."

Office for Faith-Based Partnerships Member Slams North Dakota Egg-as-Person Bill
The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, employer to Rabbi
David Saperstein, an appointee to President Obama’s Office for
Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, released a statement decrying the North Dakota House’s passage of egg-as-person legislation (hat tip to  The Religious Action Center writes, "While recognizing the right of religious groups whose beliefs differ
from ours to follow the dictates of their faith in this matter, we
vigorously oppose attempts to legislate the particular beliefs of those
groups into the law that governs us all. We will continue to advocate
for comprehensive sexuality education, access to reproductive health
services and as always, for the preservation and protection of safe and
legal access to abortion services."

Anti-Choicers Still Stoking Fears on FOCA

Unsurprisingly, anti-choicers’ fears on FOCA aren’t allayed by Amy
Sullivan’s recent TIME article, "The Catholic Crusade Against a
Mythical Abortion Bill."  On Newsbusters, Matthew Balan writes,

While it is true that FOCA has not been reintroduced, Sullivan later
admitted that it is still in the back of the minds of pro-abortion
forces in Congress: "A spokesman for [Congressman] Nadler says that
while he expects the legislation will be reintroduced, ‘it won’t be
anytime soon.’" So which is it Amy?


Obama’s choice of staff that have worked at pro-choice organizations is enough to concern Balan:

What Sullivan fails to mention is that outside of these two areas,
President Obama has chosen radical pro-abortion leaders to fill
positions in his adminstration. Ellen Moran, the new White House
communications director, was previously the executive director of EMILY’s List political action committee,
whose expressed aim is "electing pro-choice Democratic women to
office." The president has also nominated David Ogden to be deputy
attorney general. Ogden wrote an amicus brief in the Casey v. Planned Parenthood case,
decided by the Supreme Court in 1987, which argued against parental
notification laws and minimized the significant psychological impact of
abortion on women. The Obama administration has also nominated Dawn
Johnsen, the former legal director of NARAL, to be the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

He concludes:

So as much as Sullivan tries to obfuscate, FOCA is still a viable
option for pro-abortion politicians in Congress, and the Obama
administration is much more pro-abortion than she would lead one to

Georgia Considers Regulations on IVF
In the wake of news of the birth of octuplets in California, Georgia
lawmakers have expressed interest in regulating the practice of
in-vitro fertilization, reports — and Georgia Right to Life is behind it.

[Georgia Right to Life] says it is apparent from the recent birth of octuplets to a
southern California woman that the fertility industry needs governmental
oversight, thus the need for SB 169.

industry is one of the most lucrative medical fields and among the
least regulated, the group says. In response to this need, Sen. Ralph
Hudgens, along with other co-sponsors in the Senate leadership, have
introduced legislation that will place limits on the creation and
transfer of embryos produced by IVF.


Georgia Right to Life president Daniel Becker told LifeNews:

bill would limit the number of embryos transferred in any given cycle
to the same number that are fertilized, up to a maximum of three."

Sen. Gillibrand, Get It Right on Immigration!

For the Women’s Media Center, Erica Gonzalez argues that new New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s position on immigration needs an overhaul.  Gonzalez writes,

in the House, Gillibrand had given a thumbs-up to a series of harsh,
punitive measures against undocumented immigrants. With so many
families consisting of undocumented, legalized, and citizen members,
these hard-line measures have wider implications, as we have seen with
the devastating separation of parents and children through raids and

Some organizations neglected to note the contradiction between
Gillibrand backing the rights of some while denying the rights of
others.  NARAL Pro Choice New York and the Human Rights Campaign
were among those that issued congratulatory statements on Gillibrand’s
appointment. But they could have at the same time held her accountable
for people caught in the middle-immigrant women and GLBT immigrants.

The reality is that undocumented immigrant
women are less likely to get health services they may need out of fear
that their status will be detected and trigger deportation. In other
words, their decision-making is tied to immigration policies. This
makes immigration reform crucial to the lives of millions of women. 

Other News to Note

Feb 18: Catholic Alliance For the Public Good: A Catholic’s Political Duty

Feb 19: Standard Speaker: Abortion rights groups dispute ‘pro-abortion’ term

Feb 19: Associated Baptist Press: Opinion: In vitro industry out of control

Feb 19: Rome News Tribune: Abstaining from reality

Feb 19: Tulsa World: Cop Pulls Man Over for Pro-Life anti-Obama Sign:
Oklahoma City Police Officer Confiscate Pro-Life Sign

Feb 19: American Conservative Daily: Sneaking Abortion Funding Into Every Bill

Feb 19: Life News: Legislature, Pro-Life Groups Ask Florida Officials
to Prosecute Botched Abortion

Feb 20: Times Online: Pregnancy may have driven police hunt

Feb 19: Indian PR Wire: Special financial assistance for girl child,
would-be mothers in Assam

Feb 19: SLT: Bill increasing penalty for late-term abortion clears Senate

Feb 19: Suite 101: North Dakota Senate Approves Abortion Signs–Signs
Tell Women They Cannot Be Forced to Have Abortions

Feb 19: Florida Battle Over Crist’s Supreme Court Appointment and
Abortion Continues

Feb 19: Kansas Tiller’s lawyers say abortion records were
mailed to Virginia city where Kline now works

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